Business Profiles

Creating a career that’s the right fit

Successful marketer pivots to provide career advice and coaching.

It might sound like an unusual move to retrain as a career advisor and coach whilst running a successful marketing business, but for Julia Kay the pivot was borne of a desire to help others find their ‘right fit’ career pathway.

Providing a comprehensive career service for teenagers from Y12 was the start point for her business, as that’s when decisions need to be made for the future. Julia works with her clients to identify individual skills, personality traits, strengths and interests before considering career options.

“Many of my teenage clients are a bit anxious and overwhelmed when we first meet as they’ve put off making any decisions, plus some feel pressure from their parents which can end up causing extra stress at home… The goal is for my client to understand themselves better when making choices. I want them to feel in control of what comes next, ideally so that they don’t waste time or money progressing down the wrong track.”

Over time it became clear there was also a need for a careers service for adults who were looking for support to achieve goals within their current role, or on the flipside were feeling unfulfilled in their job, were going through a restructure, or were looking to define the next step in their career.

Julia’s career service for adults is quite different to working with teenagers, as adult clients have built up a toolkit of transferable skills over the years and have the benefit of personal experience and hindsight.

“My adult clients usually have a pretty good idea of what’s important to them; they’re looking for unbiased support to explore their options and make wise decisions when taking their next steps.”

The missing piece of the puzzle was for Julia to gain qualifications as a coach, in addition to her career guidance qualifications. Although still in its infancy in New Zealand, coaching is incredibly popular overseas, with many progressive companies across the USA and Europe including coaching as an integral part of employment packages for staff at all levels.

“Coaching is not counselling or therapy. It’s a proactive way of addressing challenges whilst looking to the future and taking action to achieve goals. Overseas, businesses use coaching on an ongoing basis to support their employee’s health and wellbeing.”

It’s no surprise that the current situation with Covid, increased cost of living and geopolitical situations around the world are affecting stress and anxiety levels, which can have a flow on effect into the workplace.

A growing number of Julia’s clients are employers who want to provide impartial support and mentoring for their staff. Many staff find it helpful to be supported by a trusted outsider and, considering the challenges with the current tight job market, coaching can be a beneficial way to offer support and resolve any issues rather than lose a staff member.

“It’s fairly easy to say ‘this is what you should do, go do it’ but the real benefit is in providing impartial one-on-one support to the employee, listening objectively and helping to find solutions. I can bring fresh eyes to a situation and provide a perspective they may not have considered before. Providing this type of support to employees on a regular basis will help them to feel more valued.”

As an employer who has worked with SMEs, large corporates, government departments and not-for-profits, Julia understands the realities of the world of work from ‘lived experience’ rather than through an academic lens. She aims to provide pragmatic, practical advice and recommendations that support her clients to thrive.

“Let’s face it, we spend a huge amount of our waking hours at work, more time there than we do at home with our families and friends, so it’s important to get it right” says Julia. “If you want to find the best fit career direction for your teenager or yourself, or have staff who are in need of impartial support or guidance at work, I can help.”

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